Two different but equally brilliant conductors inspired the basic premise of Paperback Romance. The first was JoAnn Falletta conducting The Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic. The second was Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Falletta’s energy and grace was mesmerizing — and it was icing on the top that she was a woman in the field dominated by men. Some months later I then watched Michael Tilson Thomas who moved with the same sweep of energy and grace. Though taller than Falletta, when his back was turned to the audience I began to see a resemblance in motion and stature.
And I began to wonder… What if, to get even the most basic opportunities in classical music performance, Falletta had pretended to be Tilson Thomas?
Paperback Romance also presents an homage to the Harlequin with a timeless ingenue-meets-tall-dark-and-handsome story. I will confess that the character of Oscar might have a slight resemblance to John Gielgud’s Hobson in Arthur. The characters of Caroline, Alison and Nick all had more to say as the years passed and there are two follow-up short stories also available (see below).
The BAWP’s recording of Baroquen Treasures remains a favorite two decades later. Though Falletta left the Bay Area for the east coast and Europe, Tilson Thomas came home–and came out–keeping my classical music world nicely balanced.
If Music be the Food of Love you will want this story to play on and on …
Literary agent Alison has been in love with her favorite author-client for years. Not that paperback romance writer Carolyn has ever noticed. She sees Alison as a close, loyal friend; she has never questioned society’s conventions.
When Alison negotiates a lucrative contract for her, Carolyn seizes the unexpectedly large advance to fulfill a passion of her own. Beginning in Paris, scene of her brief, calamitous marriage, she will immerse herself in great music from the world’s great orchestras. Paris brings a dramatic encounter with Nicolas Frost, the remote, driven young conductor who is creating a reputation for musical brilliance.
When the smitten Carolyn discovers the conductor’s masquerade — necessary to achieve recognition in the male-dominated higher echelons of classical music — she is suddenly faced with the true nature of her powerful attraction to Nick.
Meanwhile, Alison has found her own consolation. But does sweet, passionate Samantha have any chance of winning Alison’s affections away from Carolyn? Can there by any future for Nick and Carolyn? Find the answers in this captivating, deliciously romantic and erotic tale from one of our most entertaining storytellers.
© 1992 245 pages 62,039 words